At What Point is the Label ‘Type 2 Diabetes’ Valid?

Food, SugarIndividual’s diagnosed as having diabetes either:

  1. Have symptoms that need treating; or
  2. They have a risk state that might need treating.

However, an individual’s overall risk does not begin with any particular level of fasting blood sugar or glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), or an abnormal glucose tolerance test.

A new pooled analysis of 96 population based studies with 331,288 participants demonstrate that these different measures of diabetes produce widely different results, with only moderate overlap.

The question, therefore, is: At what point is the label type 2 diabetes valid, and how do we incorporate it into measures of total risk?


NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC) (2015) Effects of Diabetes Definition on Global Surveillance of Diabetes Prevalence and Diagnosis: A Pooled Analysis of 96 Population-based Studies with 331 288 Participants. The Lancet, Diabetes and Endocrinology. 3(8), pp.624-637.


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